Monday, September 18, 2006

It's Library Week! Toot Toot!

Get Connected for Library Week 2006!

It's Library Week (18th Sept-24th Sept). Do you know where your local library is?

If you have small children you might like to take them along to New Zealand's Biggest Storytime. On Wednesday 20 September 2006, award-winning Margaret Mahy's “Down the Back of the Chair” will be read at libraries all across New Zealand. There is a colouring competition associated with it too. Information can be found here.

If you don't have kids then my challenges to you are:
1. Get connected to a new author! Visit the public library and take out a book by an author you've never read before. If you are unsure about which one to try, most public libraries have a Who else writes like: a reader's guide to fiction authors or a publication similar. You could also be guided by the genre stickers on a book's spine. OR - be brave and ask a librarian. You might be pleasantly surprised.
2. Get connected to your library's web presence! Visit your library's online catalogue from the safety of your own home. Did you know you can check your account this way? Or even place a hold on a book that is out or at another branch?
3. Get connected to your community! Libraries aren't just about books. Most public libraries have access to the databases Fundview and Breakout. If you are looking for funding for a community project, or a scholarship for studying then check out these databases. They can help you connect with some very useful sources of funding.
4. Get connected to other people via your reading! Write a review about the book you are reading or have recently read and post about it on your blog. Many people like to read what another has recommended. If you like the sound of someone else's book, then go and get it out of the library. Libraries have more than books though. Visit the video/DVD section, the music selection, the talking book collection too.

My parents have just bought a new house. One of the comments they made about it was
"Those people haven't a book in the house! We're going to put in a wall to floor bookshelf in the family room once we're in".
This made me sad. So many other pursuits and sources of entertainment take up people's time now. Many folks just don't connect with books or their libraries. In our family it has always been a major past time to read. Up until we were in our mid-teens we would regularly go to the library as a family, usually once a week, and often on a Friday night. I don't mean to sound pompous about this. But I do think reading, books and libraries are Good Things.

I'm so glad DS is turning into a keen book fan like myself and DH. Boys are often tricky to "get into books". But I think it is worth persevering with them for a number of reasons.
  • Firstly, we're still very much a "reading" culture when it comes to studying at school and most tertiary courses. If you're not able to cope with that, you can be compromised.
  • Secondly, as a form of quiet relaxation and escapism, reading is something that can be a lifeline in a busy, noisy world. Sure - boys (and everyone really) need to be active, out and about. Other forms of entertainment have their place and value. But there is value in the skill of taking time to be quiet and read, contemplate and relax. It doesn't have to be fiction. Boys often prefer real life stuff like biographies or non-fiction treatises on travel, technology, animals and so on.


  1. I wanted to be a librarian when I was growing up - the thought of being around all those books all day - paradise! Both my beloved and I are readers (well I was before I had kids!!) and I am trying to get my eldest (age 6) interested. He is a good reader, but he was thinking of it as just "homework" so I bought him the first Captain Underpants book. I thought its goofy style would appeal to him. After an initial dismissal of the idea by him, he didn't take his nose out of the book for the rest of the day. I bought the second book and he bought the third with his own money! I'm a very happy mummy :-)

  2. Sharon and Penny I too wanted to be a librarin when I grew up. I loved being a school librarian. I was reading your post and going yes, aha and nodding away. My dream is to have a library in our home with wall to wall shelving. As an adult I still go to the library and I love it.

  3. I too believe reading, books and libraries are Good Things. (I'm also *still* one of those people that friends hate to leave alone in a room with a book ... in case they come back into the room and I won't leave the book.)

  4. I am another reader and like nothing better than to curl up in bed with my book. My 2 oldest boys have inherited my love of reading which I am so pleased about. Tommy is getting there slowly but reading is still an effort for him.

  5. We are certainly 'book' people to the extent that we have a 'library' in our home. I will post a photo soon to prove it!